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NCAAW Breakdown: No. 1 South Carolina Still Perfect (Barely)

Holmes has Indiana Sitting Atop Big Ten Standings

For the first time this season, the top-ranked South Carolina team is not the unanimous No. 1 team in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

No. 2 Indiana picked up one first-place vote after beating a pair of ranked teams while South Carolina survived a scare against Ole Miss. South Carolina, Indiana, and Stanford remained at No. 1, 2 and 3 in the poll. Utah tumbled from fourth to eighth following a loss to Arizona. That win by the Wildcats moved Arizona from 18th to 14th. Nine Top 25 teams lost last week.

Zia Cooke #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks goes to the basket against the LSU Tigers
Zia Cooke #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks goes to the basket against the LSU Tigers // Lance King - AFP

There are 10 games this week featuring a pair of Top 25 teams. The fun starts on Monday when Ohio State plays at Michigan and UCLA visits Stanford. The Cardinal are listed by the Las Vegas odds as 13½-point favorites over UCLA. Tuesday’s Iowa-Maryland and Saturday’s Stanford-Utah matchups are the only ones featuring two top-10 teams.

Looking at the women’s college basketball betting lines, South Carolina (-140) is favored in the odds to win the national title. Stanford and UConn are next as both are priced at +600.

South Carolina continues to lead the NCAA NET rankings followed by UConn, Stanford, Indiana, and LSU.

Let’s check the latest women’s college basketball news, stats, injury reports, and women’s college basketball lines. We’ve got plenty of NCAA women’s basketball picks for you to consider.

Scare for Top-Ranked Gamecocks

After recent wins over top-10 UConn and Louisiana State teams, it was only natural for the top-ranked and undefeated South Carolina Gamecocks to have a letdown.

That took place on Sunday when the host Ole Miss Rebels led by a point with less than a minute to play.

Aliyah Boston, one of the front-runners in the national player of the year odds according to the sportsbook, made a free throw with 30 seconds to play to tie the game. She missed a layup that would have won the game before South Carolina pulled away for the 64-57 win in overtime.

Zia Cooke led the way with 24 points while Boston had 13 points and 12 rebounds as the Gamecocks improved to 27-0. Cooke has back-to-back 20-point games for the first time this season.

Ole Miss is tied for fourth in the SEC standings after the loss.

Dead Heat

It took a late basket by Olivia Miles but Notre Dame finds itself tied with Duke atop the ACC standings.

Virginia Tech, which knocked Duke out of sole possession of first place in the ACC, is just a game back.

There are already five teams in the conference with at least 20 wins so ACC teams will be well-represented when the March Madness bracket comes out.

According to the women’s college basketball odds, Notre Dame (+4000) is the favorite to win the national title among ACC teams followed by North Carolina State at +5000.

Georgia Amoore and Elizabeth Kitley had 20 points each in the win over Duke and the Hokies held the Blue Devils to 34% shooting in the 61-45 win. There is also a tie for first in the Big 12 with Texas and Oklahoma both sitting at 12-3 in conference play.

Oklahoma has won six straight games while Oklahoma State is a winner of five in a row as things are going to get interesting in the next couple of weeks.

Olivia Miles #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish dribbles against Sara Bejedi #4 of the Florida State Seminoles
Olivia Miles #5 of the Notre Dame dribbles against Sara Bejedi #4 of the Florida State // Michael Hickey – AFP

Finding a Way

Still without leading scorer Azzi Fudd and coming off the first back-to-back losses in 30 years, UConn was facing a challenge in its quest to win the Big East title.

Caroline Ducharme, playing for the first time since a Dec. 31 win over Marquette as a result of a concussion, had all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter as UConn held off Creighton 62-60. Ducharme’s two free throws with four seconds left to play provided the winning points.

Creighton’s Laura Jensen missed two late free throws that would have sent the game into overtime.

The way followed up by a trip to Villanova to meet up with the Wildcats and the nation’s leading scorer, Maddy Siegrist.

Siegrist had 21 points, but was just 8 of 22 from the field and 1 of 6 in the fourth quarter as UConn returned home with the 60-51 win to take a two-game lead in the Big East standings.

In it for the Long Haul

It was a winning week in more ways than one for No. 3 Stanford.

Not only did the Cardinal get some redemption for one of its conference losses by topping Southern California in the rematch on Friday, but leading scorer and rebounder Cameron Brink revealed her intentions to return to play for Stanford next season.

Brink could have entered the WNBA Draft and wouldn’t have waited long to hear her name called.

Brink is averaging 14.4 points and 9.5 rebounds. She has scored in double figures in 19 games in a row and has 11 double-doubles during that time.

Team of the Week

Arizona Wildcats

Arizona took down a pair of ranked foes over the weekend.

It all started with an 82-72 win over visiting and then-No. 4 Utah on Friday as Shaina Pellington had 35 points and eight rebounds.

Two days later, Pellington led the way again with 19 points. The defense was the story as Colorado shot just 28.3% from the field.

Arizona has won its last three games by an average of 17.3 points as the Wildcats are sitting in fourth place in the Pac-12 standings. If that doesn’t change, the winner of the Stanford-Utah game could draw the Wildcats in the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament.

Shaina Pellington #1 of the Arizona Wildcats signals as she brings the ball down court against the Stanford Cardinal
Shaina Pellington #1 of the Arizona Wildcats signals as she brings the ball down court against the Stanford Cardinal //

Player of the Week

Mackenzie Holmes, Indiana

Indiana took down two ranked teams to remain on top of the Big Ten standings.

Holmes led the way with 33 points in the 83-59 win at Ohio State. She had 27 points and five blocked shots as the Hoosiers were tested by Michigan and then she had 20 points, seven rebounds, three steals and four blocked shots in a win over unranked Purdue.

Indiana has won 14 games in a row with Holmes having at least 20 points in 10 of those games.

Game of the Week

Stanford vs Utah

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Feb. 25, 2:00 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)

Utah’s loss to Arizona prevented it from being a top-five5 showdown and both teams have challenging games before the weekend matchup.

Depending on what happens when Stanford faces UCLA on Monday and then heads to Colorado when Utah welcomes California to town on Thursday, first place in the Pac-12 could be on the line.

Stanford won 74-62 on Jan. 20 as Cameron Brink and Haley Jones had 25 points each to offset 25 points from Utah’s Alissa Pili.

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